San Mateo goalkeeper Kitty Qu, left, dives on a loose ball just before Carlmont's Soha Said can get a toe on during a scoreless tie Thursday.
The first week of the Peninsula Athletic Bay Division girls’ soccer schedule is in the books. And with two games under each team’s belt, you can see some patterns starting to form.
Take San Mateo High School, for example. Two games in and it’s not exactly raining goals on the offensive side of the ball. But thanks to a tough and scrappy defense, the Bearcats are 1-0-1 with a pair of shutouts — their latest was a 0-0 draw with Carlmont Thursday afternoon at home.
“I’m happy with the draw,” said San Mateo head coach Carlos Bover, whose team beat Sequoia 1-0 to start league play on Tuesday. “It was a mostly even game. The first half [against Carlmont] it was mostly us. We had a couple good chances, good passing against a very strong team. But the second half, they turned to out to be strong and they had a lot of chances.
“We didn’t have to defend as much in the first half because we had possession. So, it was much easier. It didn’t feel like we had much pressure on our defense. But second half, we totally did. I was counting the seconds in the second half.”
Carlmont knocked on the Bearcat door to the tune of 17 shots in the last 40 minutes of the game — as opposed to just one shot on frame for San Mateo in the same time period. But for all the efforts of Soha Said, Kayla Fong and Carolyn Donohoe, the ball simply did not want to find twine — although San Mateo goalkeeper Kitty Qu had a lot to say about that.
“She played really well, especially the second half,” Bover said. “The first half, she didn’t have too much to do. The second half, she came up big for us. She did that for us last year and we always look forward to good performances from her.”
“I think a little bit of the difference in the game was finishing our opportunities,” said Carlmont head coach Tina Doss, whose Scots took down Hillsdale 2-1 in the PAL opener. “Today, I can’t say that they weren’t trying to score, or they weren’t trying to get ahead. But we just didn’t finish our opportunities.
“I think it hit a point in the game where everyone was like ‘I don’t want to finish, you finish, no, you finish’ — it turned into one of those games. And it starts getting into their heads when you’re taking shot after shot after shot and nothing is going in. That’s one of the things we need to talk about — being patient and waiting for the right time, continuing to push and not stopping. We’ll work on it and figure it out.”
The Scots, with Said and Fong, definitely have the pieces to try and figure things out. In the second half, they peppered Qu with shots that the sophomore and reigning PAL co-goalkeeper of the year was up to.
“Carlmont has a very good offensive line,” Bover said. “They have three very strong players up top that are very, very good. Very hard to spot. One of our main targets when we started the game was to spot No. 10 (Fong). She’s got good skill. I think she’s the best player in the league by far. Smart, technical so if you stop her, you got some good chances. If you don’t stop her, she’s going to make your life crazy.”
San Mateo put a lot more pressure on Carlmont in the first half. They had eight shots on goal — one of which rung off the post and another, by Katie Wischer, was inches from making it 1-0.
“The defense played great,” Doss said. “I have no complaints. We talked about how in the first half, we were a little too far back and I wanted to step more into their passing lanes and they that adjustment in the second half and did a really good job.”
OTHER SOCCER NEWS
Menlo-Atherton continued it hot start to the season with a 5-0 defeat of Sequoia. In two league games, the Bears have outscored opponents 8-0. Sarah McLeod scored twice in the win.
“I have high hopes for them,” said M-A head coach Paul Snow. “We expect to be battling alongside Woodside and we expect Carlmont to be up there as well. We’re hoping to contend for a title.”
Junior Annie Harrier got M-A on the board early in the first half when she finished a perfectly fed ball from freshman Katie Guenin. McLeod scored the first of her two goals on an assist from sophomore Talia Missan. Later Missan received a ball off a throw-in, dribbled down the sideline and took a hard shot from the outside right to find the back of the net unassisted. The final goal of the half came when Miranda Simes passed to Amanda Wiseman, who scored to put the Bears up 4-0 at the half.
In the second half, McLeod intercepted a ball off an attempted clear by a Sequoia defender and finished it for her second goal of the match.
The injury bug continues to bite Burlingame while Hillsdale is proving they’re a force to be reckoned with. The Panthers and Knights tied 1-1. Alysse La Mond scored in the 76th minute. “Hillsdale played really well,” said Burlingame head coach Phillip De Rosa. “They’re definite better than they’ve been in the past. We had our opportunities today but when you don’t capitalize, they come back to bite you.”
After drawing with Burlingame earlier in the week, Woodside bounced back with a dominating 5-0 win over Aragon. The Wildcats got goals from five different players in the win.
“I think Tuesday’s game was a nice dose of reality for us,” said Woodside head coach Jose Navarrete. “I think that’s going to be the case all season. Teams are really going to test us. We came out with more drive today.”
Over in the Ocean Division, Half Moon Bay finished off a 2-1 start to league by beating South San Francisco 3-1. Tatiana Quintanilla had two assists.
“I think we played kinda timid,” said Cougars head coach Katie Moore about her team’s 2-1 loss to Terra Nova earlier in the week. “We mentally killed ourselves. But we regrouped and are playing better. My team is really talented. They just have to believe in themselves.”
Speaking of Terra Nova, they improved to 3-0 with a 5-0 victory over Westmoor. Leilani Kaea scored twice in the victory.
“I just think the girls are playing really well together,” said Terra Nova head coach Ernie Brockmeyer.